Three of the heroes from the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya spoke with Megyn Kelly about the events of that night that left four Americans dead.
Mark “Oz” Geist, Kris “Tanto” Paronto and John “Tig” Tiegen appeared on Fox News Channel Monday, in a “Kelly File” exclusive, recounting what happened in the attack and the portrayal of events in the highly-anticipated film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” which is based on a book they wrote.
The film left Paronto “drained” and feeling “like there was a big hole inside me,” he said, because watching the film felt like he had virtually gone back to Benghazi. “It was a part of me that I relived on the screen, and I realized how much I’d been missing,” Paronto said, fighting back emotions. “It’s amazing being with your brothers and fighting … being there and being with them and having the faith that you’re going to defeat all the obstacles.”
The film, which Kelly said may pose a threat to Hillary Clinton’s White House ambitions, takes viewers through the events that unfolded on September 11, 2012 as the American diplomatic compound was attacked. At a nearby CIA annex, military personnel were “chomping at the bit, saying ‘send us’,” Kelly explained, as the men reiterated that they were told repeatedly to “stand down.”
Tiegen recalled the multiple stand down orders, noting that help never came despite the fact that Ambassador Stevens had been missing for hours was “pretty crazy.”
“I would never expect them to just leave the ambassador out there,” Tiegen said. “My view is that they didn’t even try,” Paronto added. “Thirteen hours. Nobody comes. That’s the big deal.”
Tiegen described the scene at the consulate building that night as he repeatedly tried to get inside and rescue people. The smoke was so thick, he said “you could still only see about two feet in front of your face. It was so thick and so hot, it was just like being in a brick oven.”
The men agreed that, without the order to stand down, they would have been able to save those at the compound “100 percent.” Geist believed the team, with nearly 100 combined years of experience in counter-insurgency operations, would have overcome even without U.S. military backup.
Paronto remarked that the political spin of the the events in the attack are being handled like a reality show. “The truth is not being told,” he said.
“That’s one of the reasons that pushed us to stay political but tell the truth about what happened on the ground,” said Paronto, who said the film honors those who lost their lives at Benghazi and the heroes who risked their lives trying to save others.
Watch the heroes speaking with Kelly, below and the trailer for the powerful “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” film.
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